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Mol Pharmacol. 2006 Nov;70(5):1771-82. Epub 2006 Aug 22.

Inhibitory gating modulation of small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels by the synthetic compound (R)-N-(benzimidazol-2-yl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-1-naphtylamine (NS8593) reduces afterhyperpolarizing current in hippocampal CA1 neurons.

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  • 1NeuroSearch A/S, Pederstrupvej 93, DK 2750 Ballerup, Denmark.


SK channels are small conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels important for the control of neuronal excitability, the fine tuning of firing patterns, and the regulation of synaptic mechanisms. The classic SK channel pharmacology has largely focused on the peptide apamin, which acts extracellularly by a pore-blocking mechanism. 1-Ethyl-2-benzimidazolinone (1-EBIO) and 6,7-dichloro-1H-indole-2,3-dione 3-oxime (NS309) have been identified as positive gating modulators that increase the apparent Ca(2+) sensitivity of SK channels. In the present study, we describe inhibitory gating modulation as a novel principle for selective inhibition of SK channels. In whole-cell patch-clamp experiments, the compound (R)-N-(benzimidazol-2-yl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-1-naphtylamine (NS8593) reversibly inhibited recombinant SK3-mediated currents (human SK3 and rat SK3) with potencies around 100 nM. However, in contrast to known pore blockers, NS8593 did not inhibit (125)I-apamin binding. Using excised patches, it was demonstrated that NS8593 decreased the Ca(2+) sensitivity by shifting the activation curve for Ca(2+) to the right, only slightly affecting the maximal Ca(2+)-activated SK current. NS8593 inhibited all the SK1-3 subtypes Ca(2+)-dependently (K(d) = 0.42, 0.60, and 0.73 microM, respectively, at 0.5 microM Ca(2+)), whereas the compound did not affect the Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels of intermediate and large conductance (hIK and hBK channels, respectively). The site of action was accessible from both sides of the membrane, and the NS8593-mediated inhibition was prevented in the presence of a high concentration of the positive modulator NS309. NS8593 was further tested on mouse CA1 neurons in hippocampal slices and shown to inhibit the apaminand tubocurarine-sensitive SK-mediated afterhyperpolarizing current, at a concentration of 3 microM.

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